Monday, February 16, 2015

look at the wound

you can't really get through life unscathed. while sometimes we are soaring with the wind at our back, there are other moments where we are staggering or even crawling on that battlefield, our bodies battered. some wounds were scrapes, and some were gaping holes. there are the bumps and bruises that change us cosmetically, annoying when inflicted, but not bothersome-some snide comment, some hiccup in our plan or some failure that bodychecks us and reminds us that we aren't invincible.
unfortunately, we are almost guaranteed to get a puncture wound or two. we have all of these scars as a testament to what put them there. the life-changers, the deep re-arrangers of our original selves. you can't go back to factory settings after that. they are inflicted and leave jagged scars- marks of survival, proof of our resilience.

when these wounds happen, we do what we can to help them heal. many times, that means covering them up and applying medicine. recovery will be slow. it's not until that bandage comes off and we look at the damage that we see how much we have healed. 

you wouldn't know that the wound was repaired until you looked at it again. when it's covered, you can't see what's taking place underneath. life goes on despite the wound, and the body tries to fix itself. 

it's a common defense to try and stifle our pain, to avert our eyes and try to medicate with new experiences. or people. or food. or alcohol. or drugs. we want to forget that broken part of ourselves and cover it up forever. 

ever one to try and avoid conflict, i made myself do something i absolutely did not want to do. i made myself look at an old wound. it had changed the direction of my life, and i wanted nothing more than to shove all memories of it into a dark corner and pretend it wasn't there. it was tangible evidence of an emotional brutality. thinking about it made me angry and resentful. i used to be unable verbalize it without my voice rising and feeling defensive. it stung my soul and shook my foundations, and facing it seemed unnecessary. it changed me and i never wanted to look back.

i was at a place where i had to look at that wound, but i dreaded it. i wanted to run. i wanted to make excuses not to look, not to be in that situation, to do anything but peel that old dressing back and see how bad the damage was. it would remind me of my imperfections, and i didn't need a self-inflicted, hurtful experience to know i was broken. 

i convinced myself it would hurt. no good could possibly come from it. though it was uncomfortable, i was wrong about what i would see.

i wasn't a victim of that wound anymore. the emotions i experienced from the wound were not stinging and raw as before. instead, i looked at those circumstances through a lens of experience, knowing that terrible pain made me grow. it hurt, it devastated me, it changed me, and i suffered some unrecoverable losses directly related to that wound.

that was then. and now when i look at that wound, i see it as the cause of my character. i had to go through that to be the person i am. that scar made me walk a different life, the one i was meant for. i am so much happier than i was.

i'm not going to be one that will go so far as to say that scar in my life is beautiful. if i had to do it all over, i sure hope there could have been another way to get me to this point on my path. some way that hurt less and didn't change my opinion of people as this wound did.

i wouldn't have known about the restoration that had taken place until i looked at the wound.


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